London - While it’s not clear if a bloke can cop a buzz drinking Britain’s recycled, purified water, cocaine in its metabolized form was discovered in the country's drinking water during a scientific analysis reported on Sunday.
Scientists from the Drinking Water Inspectorate looking for pharmaceutical compounds in the country’s drinking water discovered traces of cocaine in public water supplies, despite it being treated and purified, according to reports.
Benzoylecginine, metabolized cocaine, was detected by scientists in multiple samples of drinking water; the compound is the same one used to flag users in drug tests.
No doubt equally troubling to Brits, caffeine, commonly found in coffee, was runner-up in chemical agents discovered in their recycled water. While caffeine is an ingredient of ibuprofen, a common pain reliever, some speculate coffee, the favored pick-me-up drink of Americans, is being consumed in quantities competitive with tea. Drinking Tea, Colonial tea party notwithstanding, is a bit of a national pastime in Britain.
Another interesting find was a chemical compound used to treat epilepsy. It remains somewhat of a mystery why such a chemical agent would show up in the tests. Although other compounds were found, none gauged at dangerous levels in water supplies.
Cocaine use has greatly increased in the UK which has driven the cost down. “[Britain has] the near highest level of cocaine use in Western Europe,” Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst at Transform Drug Policy Foundation, told The Sunday Times. “It has also been getting cheaper and cheaper at the same time as its use has been going up.”
Nearly 700,000 people aged 16 to 59 are estimated to take cocaine every year in Britain, according to the Independent.
While pharmaceutical compounds consistent with prescription drugs were found in a comprehensive 2008 analysis of drinking water supplies in the U.S., no traces of cocaine were discovered, according to a scientific journal report.